Doctors are saying that despite slowdowns in some oil towns, they are still treating a large number of crush injuries from the oil industry. This may raise the question of how common these accidents are on the national level. Are they becoming more common?
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that in the most recent records, 21.1 percent of the roughly 4,200 annual oil industry accidents happened because a worker was caught in a piece of equipment. 32.5 percent of accidents happened because a worker was struck by an object. These are also the two most common causes of crush injuries. Government records also indicate that in their five most recent recorded years, the number of fatal accidents in Louisiana has increased by 30 percent, while in Texas the number has increased by 21 percent. Based on these numbers, it makes sense to suspect the number of crush accidents may be increasing.
What Exactly Are Crush Injuries?
A crush injury happens when the compression of a body part damages the muscles, nerves, blood or bone. More than 70% of crush injuries happen in the legs, but they can occur in any part of a person’s body. Many of these accidents can lead to amputation, particularly in the fingers. Many are even fatal.
How do Crush Injuries Happen in the Oil Industry?
With all the crane accidents and other heavy equipment hazards in the industry, it makes sense that crush injuries are one of the more common accidents on rigs. Most accidents occur after drilling has started, when workers are adding additional pipes to keep up as the well deepens. Sometimes these pipes aren’t secured properly, which causes an accident.
Employers can take precautions by training workers in proper lifting techniques and creating an environment where workers can avoid moving parts and machinery. Whether an accident is caused by equipment defects or an unsafe work environment, it may be wise for an injured worker to seek the counsel of an attorney. A professional can help you identify whether your employer made a mistake, and may be able to help you get the funds you need to pay medical bills and other expenses. Oil workers have tough, dangerous jobs. They deserve an employer who does their part to create a safe workplace.
Louisiana personal injury attorneys, Galloway Jefcoat, LPP can help you hold negligent employers accountable for oil rigs injuries and other forms of workplace accidents.